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Julie Planiden
April 4, 2013 | Okanagan Life, Vineyard | Julie Planiden

Meet our New Vineyard Manager









Meet our new vineyard manager Ernst Bruwer.  A big Blue Mountain welcome to you.  We hope you enjoy your new home.

What made you choose to come to Canada?
I’ve always had a big interest in Canada and the Canadian way of living. When I found out Canada had regions where they grow and make wine I decided I needed to move here as it would be a new and interesting challenge.

What were your perceptions of the Canadian Wine Industry prior to arriving in Canada?
I had heard from people that travelled to the wine regions of Canada many years ago that the wines had a “wild” taste.  I was told vineyards were growing a lot of non-vinifera species.

When a winemaker friend of mine moved here he reported back that the industry had changed and that really good quality wines are being made here, also that many varietals of vitis vinifera vines are being planted. 

Where are you from and what did you do in your previous position?
I’m from the Western-Cape region of South-Africa from a town called Stanford near the coast. I managed a 62 ha wine farm for Hermanuspietersfontein-vineyards. 

Explain your role at Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars.
Vineyard manager. To optimize the soil quality, vine quality and grape quality to in the end have a quality wine.

How did you become interested in wine?
I grew up on a 200 ha wine farm near a town called Worcester in South Africa. You could say it’s in my blood.

Favourite wine region in the world?
Sandies Glen, Walker Bay

Favourite Grape Varietal and why?
Don’t really have a distinct favorite, but if you forced me to answer I would say Sauvignon Blanc. There is a whole lot you can do with it and so many possible end results as a wine.

Favourite grape varietal to grow? Pinotage.  It has a medium to vigorous growth and is very easy to manage. If you treat it right you will always have quality grapes every year. Also Chardonnay and Mourvèdre.

What you like best about being in the Okanagan so far?
The people are all very friendly and that has made the transition run smooth. The lakes and nature are new and beautiful.

What you miss most from home besides your family and friends?
Mrs. Balls Chutney, Green coloured Cream soda, Mild winter temperatures and rock & surf fishing.

Favourite wine memory?
Being part of the team that won best Wine in SA from Diners Club International, with a full-bodied Sauvignon blanc with balanced wood integration.


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Christie Mavety
April 22, 2016 | Christie Mavety

Composting at Blue Mountain

One of the key pieces to sustainability in the vineyard is our use of composting.  Continue »

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